This superbly presented Porsche Carrera 6 began life as the Racing Team Holland car campaigned in World Championship of Makes-qualifying races by Ben Pon and fellow Dutchman Gijs van Lennep. The first time out at significant level in this 2-liter 6-cylinder air-cooled coupe, they finished seventh overall and first in class in the ADAC 1,000-kilometer race at Nurburgring. After winning a home event outright on the Dutch Zandvoort circuit, Ben Pon was asked to partner with works driver Vic Elford in the 1967 Le Mans Grand Prix d'Endurance.

That race was to provide Elford with his first experience of the French 24-Hour classic, and he and Ben Pon finished seventh overall. At the end of that season, Ben Pon shared this car with another British driver, Tony Dean, and won the 2-liter sports category again, this time in the BOAC 1,000-kilometer at Brands Hatch.

Porsche 906 '134' was subsequently sold into amateur ownerships and reportedly "suffered one indignity after another at the hands of novices trying to keep it competitive." Ultimately it came to light in South America, being located in derelict order by Marty Yacoobian. The car was brought into the United States and sold to Bruce Canepa, the well-known restorer in Santa Cruz, California.

What followed was a mammoth 4,000-hour restoration that has been described as producing the most technically correct restoration of a 906.

When introduced in 1966, the Porsche 906 - marketed generally as the 'Carrera 6' - combined a multitubular spaceframe chassis with strikingly low and curvaceous lightweight fiberglass body paneling aimed at minimum drag. The engine was a racing version of the production 911 air-cooled 6-cylinder unit. This 901/20 variant's crankcase was cast in lightweight magnesium instead of aluminium, and its pistons, connecting rods, cylinder barrels and valve gear were all redesigned. With single overhead camshafts atop each cylinder bank, the new engine actually weighed 54kg (110 lbs.) less than the standard 911 unit. Transmission was via a 5-speed all-sychromesh transaxle with ZF limited-slip differential. The Porsche 906 became yet another classic in the German marque's enduring competition history - the model's record including outright victory in the legendary Sicilian Targa Florio race.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1966 Porsche 906 E Carrera
Years Produced:1966
Number Produced:13
Original List Price:$11,500
SCM Valuation:$275,000-$375,000
Tune Up Cost:$600
Distributor Caps:$22
Club Info:Porsche Club of America, 5530 Edgemont Dr., Alexandria, VA 22310
Alternatives:Ford GT-40, Alfa Romeo TT 33/2, Ferrari 246 SP

This superb 906 sold for $365,500 including buyer’s commission at the Brooks USA Auction on Aug. 15, 1998, at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California, at the height of Porsche’s 50th anniversary party.

The 906 is a tremendously important Porsche, as it marks many turning points in the firm. It was developed by a young family member, Ferdinand Piech, as his first project as racing director. Before squabbling caused Ferry Porsche to banish all family members from active management, Piech was dedicated to making a strong impression on the firm his grandfather founded.

The 906 was built on a tubular spaceframe chassis rather than welded sheet metal sections as used in 904s and production cars. At the time, this was hailed as a departure for Porsche, but the earlier 550 and RS cars were all built on spaceframes. The weight decrease was a significant feature, as the 906, a wider and longer car, weighed 174 lbs. less than the 904.

Although the new flat-six, SOHC engine found its way into a few of the later 904s, the 906 was built around the 2.0-liter hot rod that produced 220hp at 8,100 rpm (versus 130hp for the production 2-liter). After the initial homologation run of 52 906 cars, an additional 13 chassis were fitted with an experimental mechanical fuel-injection system, the 906E. This Bosch system gave improved throttle response and, to everyone’s surprise, better mileage. A similar system was used on various 911 road cars from 1969 through 1973, including the legendary Carrera RS/RSR. Although these were rugged endurance cars, frame breakage on crossmembers under the gearbox and half-shaft failures took their toll. As a result, Porsche decided to run important races with new 906s that had not suffered the metal fatigue born of repeated track outings.

The 906 became the first Porsche production car unable to be registered in West Germany for road use. In spite of this potential handicap, the initial production run was sold out before the official introduction.

The 906E featured here, with its race history and superb restoration has to be one of the most desirable Porsches anywhere. While the price paid may not seem a bargain, this car will appreciate at the head of the market and always will be of interest to knowledgeable collectors.-Jim Schrager

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